Saturday, February 21, 2009

this isn't Atlantis (but I can tell you where Atlantis is)

From Jonah Goldberg at NRO, I found this article about the discovery of Atlantis on the ocean floor. Here is the picture from the article:

They cropped the scale off the bottom of the picture, but if you find this image yourself on Google, you will see that the rectangle is about 70 miles across. No ancient city got anywhere near that size. And the lines can't be roads either, because they would be about a half mile wide.

If you look about 200 or 300 miles east of the Atlantis picture, you will see another area of perpendicular straight lines, only they are not as dense. And scanning around a bit, I found another similar area in the Mediterranean, north of Algeria. The lines aren't as straight and aren't perpendicular, but they look similar.

So what is it, a secret submarine base? No, it's way too big for that too. In fact it's way too big to be a real man-made structure. It's either a natural structure, or more likely, an artifact of the imaging process. The article itself has an enigmatic section on Google's response to the image:
Google today claimed the criss-crossing lines were sonar data collected as boats mapped the ocean floor.

But the internet giant said “blank spots” within the lines could not be explained.

A spokeswoman said: “Bathymetric (or sea floor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor.

“The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data.

“The fact that there are blank spots between each of these lines is a sign of how little we really know about the world’s oceans.
So what does that mean? What are these blank spots of which they speak? Google never actually says (or the Sun never actually quotes them as saying) that the lines are just an artifact of the imaging process. And following as it does a long article about how this is sunken Atlantis, that incomplete discussion seems a bit, er, dishonest. One interpretation is that Google is saying that those lines are just places where we have sonar data and the spaces between the lines is where we don't have sonar data. But that doesn't make sense because there are features between some of the lines. Still, I'm pretty sure that what the Sun is doing here is reporting that Google claims the lines are imaging artifacts but doing so in such a confusing way that no one will understand it so that they can claim that they gave accurate information while still telling a lie about finding Atlantis.

So where is Atlantis? I actually think I know the answer to this. There is an island near Greece called Thera which was destroyed by a volcano in what is known as the Minoan eruption. This occurred about a thousand years before Plato. Now Plato said that Atlantis was destroyed ten thousand years before, but that's obviously impossible because that early there were no cities of the kind that Plato described. I think that Plato multiplied the time by ten and multiplied all of the other dimensions by ten also. The Atlantis he describes is about ten times bigger than the size that Thera would have been before the eruption.

Thera features in my story Mist Magic under the name "Kadlandith". There is a plausible path of word evolution whereby "Kalandith" becomes "Atlantis", especially if "Kalandith" is pronounced as I describe in the story. (By the way, I never thought I did a very good job in the historic parts of the story. I spent too much time playing with archeological, mythological, and linguistic cleverness and not enough on making the story a good read...)

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